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Naming your baby

When you register your child's birth, the registrar will ask for the full names and surname 'in which the child will be brought up'.

It is vital that you give the registrar accurate information with correct spellings. Once this information is entered into the register it becomes a permanent record.


Amendments to the child’s forenames recorded in the register can be made within twelve months of registration. There are two ways of doing this and the relevant forms can be obtained from your local Register Office:

  • where the child is baptised a Certificate of Baptism may be completed (by the vicar) and presented to the registrar
  • where the child is not baptised a Certificate of Naming may be completed (by the parents) and presented to the registrar.

On receipt of one of these documents the names will be recorded in the original register entry. Any short certificate purchased subsequently will show just the names stated on the Certificate of Naming or Baptism. Any full certificate purchased subsequently will show the names recorded originally and those on the Certificate of Naming or Baptism.

These forms cannot be used to alter the child’s surname, neither can they be used to correct any errors in the forenames made at registration.

Naming ceremonies

A naming ceremony is a fantastic ceremony to celebrate the birth of a child, to welcome adopted children or children from previous relationships and make them feel part of your family. 

Any parent, legal guardian or person with legal responsibility for the child/ children may arrange a ceremony. For more information on naming ceremonies visit our Celebrate website

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